Under pressure from insurance companies and stifled emission legislation red tape that strangled his V8, Detroit almost completely abandoned the oil crust concept until the late 1970s. But Pontiac clearly didn’t get the note.
If you wanted to buy a brand new oil car in 1979, Firebird Trans Am was about the only option. And if you want to buy a brand new 1979 release oil in 2022, Firebird Trans Am is also your only option. Specifically, it is a Trans Am time capsule that has covered an incredible 110 miles in the hands of a single owner.
As you hoped, it’s almost flawless, and still has things like sun visor sleeves that explain how to fasten a seat belt, as well as an operation manual, a dealer brochure, a construction sheet, and a window sticker. Photos on List at Mecum auction show an amazing sign on the gold pin, but, for all intents and purposes, this is exactly what you would be given if you bought one of these new ones in the 79th.
Accents with gold stripes and a gold dashboard with a gold engine tell us it’s a Trans Am SE with the code Y84, which could be one of the reasons the owner thought it was worth preserving rather than driving. But perhaps he was also aware of the importance of the 1979 models, because the Seventy-Nine was the last year for a large block engine, 10,000 of which Pontiac accumulated during 1978 to ensure it was enough to make it available for another season. Starting in 1980, Trans Am will only be available from small unit 5.0-liter V8 options.
True, the hottest of them was Fr. turbocharged version with 210 hp (213 PS), which sounded much more appealing than the hopeless alternative that was mandatory in California and gave only 150 hp. (152 PS). But neither one nor the other did not correspond to the best engine offered in 1979, which produced 220 liters.
And while the Turbo Trans Am only came with a three-speed automatic, the airless 6.6 with the W72 code in the old car could be connected to a four-speed manual. Car and driver accelerated from 1 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds in a test in January 1979, which was about 1.5 seconds better than it was in the next Turbo Trans Am 1980, and was deemed really fast during that period.
If you want to place this perfectly preserved example of the latest golden first era of muscle in your garage, you will need to register to bid at the March sale of Mecum. It is unlikely to be sold for $ 495,000, which someone spent Personal Trans Am by Bertha Reynolds last month, though for muscle collectors it may be more important.
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The owner of Smokin ‘Hot Firebird Trans Am covered only 110 miles
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